When the Giants and the Jets played an exhibition game at Yale Bowl in 1969, Elinor Kaine, who wrote a syndicated column out of New York, figured she'd attend.
She was denied a credential by William T. Guthrie, then the sports editor of the New Haven Journal-Courier. She fought and won, saying at the time that she was denied because she was a woman.
She sat in the auxiliary press box. Guthrie said that was because "her application was processed after the main press box was fully seated."
Kaine countered at the time by saying, "They were all obviously uptight about my being there. I'm sure the establishment had it all planned. The two teams got together and decided to compromise by seating me in the lower section."
Today, she is Elinor Kaine Penna, 72, lives in New York and is an antiques/pottery dealer (elinorpenna.com). At the time, she said she was syndicated in about 60 papers and had just written a book, "Pro Football Broadside."
"I sued because I was fed up," she said recently when reached by e-mail. "After all, a member of the Pro Football Writers Association should be allowed in the press box. It also made my editors happy at the other newspapers when I got publicity, and it helped with my book."
Those were heady times. She remembers driving to Yale Bowl with famed sports artist LeRoy Neiman, appearing on the television show "What's My Line?" and hanging with players and friends in New York.
"Those times were so much fun," she said. "We all went to P.J. Clarke's after Giants games. The owner, Danny Lavezzo, was a diehard Giant fan. Charley Conerly and his wife, Perian, Frank Gifford, Timmy Mara, other players, all came on Sunday nights. Then, later, came the people from 'What's My Line?' and they were all Giants fans, like Arlene Francis and Dorothy Kilgallen."